7:45 Breakfast Club

Linus Project gives Jersey Women's Refuge a ‘Hug’

Did you ever watch Snoopy the cartoon as a child? Well, the Project Linus UK is named after the character ‘Linus’, a boy who would never go anywhere without his blanket. Project Linus UK has a team of amazing volunteers who give up time to make blankets for those children who need a ‘hug’ blanket to keep.

The Jersey Women's Refuge are benefiting from the project and each child who stays at the Refuge is welcome to choose and keep a blanket which has been specifically made for each age and sex of the children. With each blanket there is a special letter which explains the ‘Hug’ blanket is made with love for them to keep.

Lorna Kearney, Manager of the Refuge, said ‘We have up to 60 children staying with us each year. It is really lovely that each child will be offered a hug blanket and will know that other people take the time and care to think about them and make them something which can comfort them and keep them cosy. With the last batch of blankets to arrive I was curious to find out why there were some with different patterns, I was absolutely stunned to discover that some of the blankets were made by a woman who can only knit with one hand, the talents and determination of people never ceases to amaze me and it makes those blankets even more special’ ‘We would like to say a very special thank you to all the volunteers involved in this project’

Project Linus originally started in 1995 in the USA when an article titled “Joy to the World” appeared in Parade Magazine. It was written by Pulitzer Prize winning photo-journalist, Eddie Adams. Part of the article featured a petite, downy haired child who had been going through intensive chemotherapy and it stated that her security blanket helped her get through the treatments.

After reading the article, Karen Loucks, who had just learned to crochet, decided to provide homemade security blankets to Denver’s Rocky Mountain Children’s Cancer Center, and Project Linus was born.

Project Linus came to the UK in March 2000 and we have delivered over 137,500 (2000-Jun 2010) quilts and blankets in children in need of a hug.

We are always in need of (and greatly appreciate) your donations in the form of wool/yarn/cotton fabrics, which may be passed on to volunteers who have no materials of their own, and of course blankets and quilts.

Our volunteers, known as “blanketeers,” provide new, handmade, washable blankets to be given as gifts to seriously ill, bereaved and traumatized children, aged 0-18. It is Project Linus UK’s policy to accept blankets of all sizes and styles including quilts, crocheted and knitted blankets in child-friendly colours. We also accept cozy no-sew fleece blankets which are very easy to make – even for children. Always remember that blankets must be homemade, washable, free of pins, and come from smoke-free environments due to allergy reasons.

If you would like to choose to include us in the programme of activities for your school, brownies, guides, sewing & or knitting groups, Women’s Institute etc. or display flyers we would love to hear from you.

In addition to the Women’s Refuge, we also have donated to The Special Care Baby Unit and Robin Ward at the General Hospital, 2 secondary schools and one off donations where we have been told a child is in need of a hug.

If you know of places where “hugs” are needed or if you would like to help in any way, please get in touch with Sarah Jordan who is the Project Linus UK Channel Islands Co-Ordinator, who can be contacted on (01534) 510680, 07797763776 or jordansarah@hotmail.com

Further information and patterns are available at www.projectlinusuk.org.uk and www.projectlinus.org